What to keep in mind while hiring for startups

A startup is literally a bunch of people, starving hard for success.

In the beginning, the team comprises people who signal for their ambition and set their limits.

No one is perfect and an outer help becomes necessity.

Go for the people you can’t get. Grab people who have exquisite talent. Once you got a few of them, they will naturally attract many others like them.

Punch above your weight

This is a bit tricky. Punching above your weight is definitely not a luxury but it seems the most obvious choice.

A successful startup continuously shifts up its weight category. These people will help you to rise up and never get stuck.

Hire deliberately

Always remember, hiring is not filling for a job but it is for building a company. Make sure to hire first 20 employees deliberately keeping the future in mind. It is important to make hiring criteria before you start the process.

Do not hire someone just because he is general and available. These opportunists are bad hires, and they can sink your boat.

A pointless hire costs around $25-$50 and that’s a huge amount for a startup to waste. The first few hires play an important role in toning the future of the startup. Beyond the wastage of money, a wrong hire puts your future at the stake on the other hand, a deliberate decision makes this intrinsic thing a lot easier.

Pro tip: Never hire a person who badmouths about his previous employer or co-workers.

Hire for potential

Any successful startup will outgrow the current skills and roles, and will morph unpredictably well if the things work out as intended. The demands of the employees will also grow with the growing company.

Constant evolution is one of the most exhausting aspects of the startup. Owners call it “keeping up with their own company.” Though it is easy to hand on the current skills of the employees, it is quite hard to rate their potential. Taking account of their past can be a great professional help.

Most of the times, smart, hard-working and decisive people do great in their schools and colleges as well. Prefer high-achievers.

Pro tip: Including pre-interview assignments can help to choose people who are ready to go extra mile.

The Culture fit

It is hard to pin down but it is important to realize the fit between a personality and organization. Hires should be assessed on the basis of their behavior, mentality and their values for the organization.

Pro tip: Follow your senses while taking interviews. A small mistake in the interview will double up many times in the coming months if overlooked. Avoid people who have a bad attitude.

Go for people who have an opinion and who can talk about their likes and dislikes with utmost honesty. People who believe in mission, vision and values of an organization tend to care. This kind of people will be true while talking about their belief in your start up.

Hire for attitude, train for skills

It’s necessary to like a candidate before you hire him. It may sound highly subjective and unfair in the context of employee especially in a professional set up but it is important when you want someone to blend in your team. Your employees are your emotional reserve in the tough times.

Yes, the learning ability of a man matters but his attitude is certainly something that defines his character. Instead, checking him for specific skills, do check their prospect.

Pro tip: Behavioral interviews can help you out at such times. Bank a good number of questions.

Look for things you can’t train

Financial management or Google analytics are easy to teach but it is almost impossible to instill manners, etiquette, numeracy or ethics.

When you have a close group, as in startups, it is easy to transfer that skill and experience to your employees.

Skill can be taught and knowledge can be put to use but it is quite difficult to teach about work ethics or solid enthusiasm.

Only 11% of people fail because of a lack in their technical skill. Most of the people fail because they lack motivation and are unwilling to learn.

Pro tip: asking for references help.

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